To follow the examples given in this book, the ideal setup should be:
- Apache and PHP 4.3.x+ running under Unix or Linux
- A database system (examples tested on MySQL, PostgreSQL and will probably work for Oracle)
- Sufficient user privileges to install PEAR libraries
You may not meet the above conditions if your website is hosted by another organisation. That won't stop this guide from being useful to you and I will discuss installing PEAR libraries on to hosted systems later. However, you should really be experimenting on your own machines. I would suggest installing a version of Linux and Apache, PHP and MySQL on to a local machine and use it as a test and development server before attempting to run your code on a public system.